Etiquette: Thank You Note Edition | Alyssa J Cori: Etiquette: Thank You Note Edition

March 3, 2013

Etiquette: Thank You Note Edition

This Sunday's etiquette post is all about thank you notes. I tend to feel as though hand written notes and letters are lost in today's society what with the ease of emailing and texting to communicate. However, a thank you note is still essential for a host of circumstances. 

Etiquette: Thank You Note Edition |

When should you write a thank you note? 
  • Whenever you receive a gift, a thank you note is necessary. I feel that the exception to this rule is if you get a gift from a family member or close friend and are able to thank them on the spot or shortly thereafter. Please note it is never wrong to send a thank you note even if you did thank someone in person, especially if it is a generous gift.
  • Another time a thank you note should be sent is when someone has hosted you. Wether it be a party, event, meal, or house stay, your host or hostess should receive a thank you note.
  • If you have been interviewed a thank you note should be sent to the interviewer, thanking them for their time and consideration. This is a good way to make sure to set yourself apart from other potential students or candidates.

What should be in the thank you note? Here's an example:

Dear Aunt Lucinda,
     Thank you very much for the lovely vase you gave me for my birthday. It looks wonderful with the fresh flowers I just cut from my garden. Every time I see it on the dinning room table I think of you. Once again, thank you and I hope to see you soon.

First thing's first: address the person with "dear" or some variation.
Next: reference the gift or event and the circumstances surrounding it.
After that: if it is a gift, say how you are using it (or if it was a monetary gift, what you're planning on purchasing). If it was a visit or party, mention some notable occurrence while you were there that demonstrates the enjoyable time that you had. If it is an interview, perhaps you can mention something you and the interviewer spoke about that made an impression on you.
Lastly: Include any other important information and sign off with "sincerely" or "thank you" in more formal circumstances. 
Another tip is to make sure that the size of your writing matches the size of the card and the amount you have to say. I would recommend writing it out on a piece of paper before writing it on the card so you can edit it. I can't even begin to count how many cards I've wasted which could have been saved had I written it out on a separate sheet of paper first.

As for the actual card, you can go for a folded or flat card; it does not particularly mater. I have had great luck purchasing cards at HomeGoods. Barnes & Noble is a sure fire store and they have some good quality options. 

Make sure to have a return address label in the unfortunate case that your beautifully written thank you note reaches the wrong person. 

I feel that a thank you note should be sent within one to two months of receiving a gift or being hosted. A thank you for an interview should be sent within a day or two (I mean, you never know how quickly they will make a decision!)

These are the basics of the thank you note so hopefully this will help you to make a good impression and make your thanks known.

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